40 Facts About Adrienne Rich


Adrienne Cecile Rich was an American poet, essayist and feminist.


Adrienne Rich was called "one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the 20th century", and was credited with bringing "the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse".


Adrienne Rich famously declined the National Medal of Arts to protest House Speaker Newt Gingrich's vote to end funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.


Adrienne Cecile Rich was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 16,1929, the elder of two sisters.


Adrienne Rich's mother, Helen Elizabeth Rich, was a concert pianist and a composer.


Adrienne Rich's father was from a Jewish family, and her mother was a Southern Protestant; the girls were raised as Christians.


Adrienne Rich's paternal grandfather Samuel Rice was an Ashkenazi immigrant from Kosice in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while his mother was a Sephardi Jew from Vicksburg, Mississippi.


Adrienne Rich went on to write the introduction to the published volume.


In 1953, Adrienne Rich married Alfred Haskell Conrad, an economics professor at Harvard University she met as an undergraduate.


Adrienne Rich's three children were born in 1955,1957 and 1959.


In 1963, Adrienne Rich published her third collection, Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law, which was a much more personal work examining her female identity, reflecting the increasing tensions she experienced as a wife and mother in the 1950s, marking a substantial change in Adrienne Rich's style and subject matter.


Adrienne Rich's husband took a teaching position at City College of New York.


From 1967 to 1969, Adrienne Rich lectured at Swarthmore College and taught at Columbia University School of the Arts as an adjunct professor in the Writing Division.


In 1976, Adrienne Rich began her partnership with Jamaican-born novelist and editor Michelle Cliff, which lasted until her death.


From 1976 to 1979, Adrienne Rich taught at City College and Rutgers University as an English professor.


Ultimately, they moved to Santa Cruz, where Adrienne Rich continued her career as a professor, lecturer, poet, and essayist.


Adrienne Rich taught and lectured at UC Santa Cruz, Scripps College, San Jose State University, and Stanford University during the 1980s and 1990s.


From 1981 to 1987, Adrienne Rich served as an AD White Professor-At-Large for Cornell University.


Adrienne Rich was awarded the Ruth Paul Lilly Poetry Prize, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award in Arts and Letters from NYU, and the National Poetry Association Award for Distinguished Service to the Art of Poetry.


In 1977, Adrienne Rich became an associate of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press.


In June 1984, Adrienne Rich presented a speech at the International Conference of Women, Feminist Identity, and Society in Utrecht, Netherlands titled Notes Toward a Politics of Location.


Adrienne Rich's keynote speech is a major document on politics of location and the birth of the concept of female "locatedness".


Adrienne Rich begins the speech by noting that while she speaks the words in Europe, she has searched for them in the United States.


Adrienne Rich pleads for the movement to change in order to experience change.


Adrienne Rich is careful to define the location in which her writing takes place.


Also in 1992, Adrienne Rich became a grandmother to Julia Arden Conrad and Charles Reddington Conrad.


Adrienne Rich died on March 27,2012, at the age of 82 in her Santa Cruz, California home.


Adrienne Rich was survived by her sons, two grandchildren and her partner Michelle Cliff.


Adrienne Rich wrote several pieces that address the rights of women in society.


Curie was slowly succumbing to the radiation that she absorbed in her research, to which Adrienne Rich refers in the poem as her source of power.


Besides poems and novels, Adrienne Rich wrote nonfiction books that tackled feminist issues.


For one, Adrienne Rich had something to say about the use of the term itself.


Adrienne Rich preferred using the term "women's liberation" rather than feminism.


Adrienne Rich thought the latter term was more likely to induce resistance from women of the next generation.


Adrienne Rich wrote in depth about "white feminism" and the need for intersectionality within the feminist movement.


In Blood, Bread, and Poetry, Adrienne Rich wrote that "feminism became a political and spiritual base from which I could move to examine rather than try to hide my own racism, recognize that I have anti-racist work to do continuously within myself".


Adrienne Rich went on to write that "so long as [feminists] identify only with white women, we are still connected to that system of objectification and callousness and cruelty called racism".


Adrienne Rich implored white feminists to consider the fact that "[they], as victims of objectification, have objectified other women" through their role as the oppressor, and through the white privilege they inherently possess under a racist regime.


Adrienne Rich wrote at length on the topic of white feminism and intersectionality within the feminist movement.


The theme of the convention was "Women Respond to Racism", and Adrienne Rich noted the homophobia and racism that still existed "in the enclave of Women's studies itself, where lesbians are still feared and women of color are still ignored".